Florida’s public schools rely heavily on parents to provide supplies and help with fundraisers. It turns out businesses also have crucial roles to play in providing resources for schools.
The 2012 Commissioner’s Business Recognition Awards ceremony honored more than 70 Florida businesses and organizations last week in Tampa for their support of education.
“Their pledge to student academic success through business partnerships embodies the fundamental relationship between education and the workforce,” said Education Commissioner Gerard Robinson. “As students prepare for post-secondary education and careers, the skills they learn today through these partnerships will ensure they are ready to compete for the jobs of tomorrow.”
Some of the honorees:
- Santa Fe College in Alachua County — The college supports students through programming, facility use and shared resources. It hosts the regional science fair, career days, and planetarium and zoo tours. 120 students each year are invited to attend a six-week, after-school program at the zoo that focuses on literacy, ecology and animal science.
- Feeding South Florida — The organization partnered with Nova Blanche Forman Elementary School in Broward County to address hunger in the community. Students toured the local food bank and learned the process of sharing food supplies. Through a service-learning grant, students used their knowledge to raise more than $9,000 to increase public awareness about hunger. They teamed up with another school to provide food for at-risk children when classes aren’t in session.
- Callahan Pharmacy in Nassau County. The pharmacy provided resources to create a weekly “SWISH” program at Callahan Elementary. Students get fluoride treatments and learn about dental health. Nassau County health officials say dental referrals have dropped dramatically as a result. Callahan Pharmacy also sponsors “All Pro Dads,” a program that helps strengthen family relationships.
- .decimal in Seminole County. The medical device manufacturer has partnered with Lyman High School for years, providing internships for engineering students and job opportunities for Lyman graduates. The company also sponsors the robotics team at Lyman, participates in Career Night at Lake Mary High, and provides school supplies, food, and Lego building projects for the gifted classes at Casselberry Elementary.
- Career Connection Consortium Business Cadre in Volusia County. More than 200 business leaders serve as advisors, promoters and recruiters for the district’s 34 career academies. The Cadre offers internship placements, equipment, and financial support. The goal is to increase local business input into the development and redesign of Volusia’s Career and Technical Education programs, helping more than 20,000 students each year.
The Commissioner’s Business Recognition Awards are administered by the Florida Department of Education and the Florida Education Foundation. They’re designed to encourage businesses to design programs that give students some real-world experience and improve state schools.